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Experts predict aquatic highways, air taxis & space hotels in 50 years’ time

30 August 2019

Six of Britain’s leading academics and futurists come together for the first time to create a mind-blowing version of the future in 50 years’ time.

Rocket travel in space will get us from London to New York in 40 minutes, Quidditch-style aerial sport matches will be played in stadiums around the world and the daily commute will take place in the sky via drone-style air taxis and buses; a new report released reveals the predictions for how we will be living in the next 50 years, suggesting the way we travel, eat, work and live will have changed immeasurably.

The research was commissioned to mark the launch of Samsung KX, a new experience space in Coal Drops Yard, London. The destination is a place of discovery to experience the latest in culture and innovation, powered by Samsung technology. The new space reaffirms the brand’s belief in the power of technology to make lives better, demonstrating that when people are empowered with both education and technology, they can create the future. Guests at Samsung KX can discover new concept tech never before seen in Europe, such as the Digital Cockpit connected ‘car’ and standout innovations such as Screenmax, the world’s first vertical 10-metre-wide vertically curved Samsung LED screen.

The Samsung KX50: The Future in Focus report was authored by a group of leading academics and futurists, including President of techUK, Jacqueline de Rojas; Director of Engineering and Education at the Royal Academy of Engineering, Dr Rhys Morgan; award winning food futurologist, Dr Morgaine Gale; digital health futurist, Maneesh Juneja; Specialist Advisor to Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art, Professor Dale Russel; and leading futurist, Matthew Griffin.

Samsung KX50: The Future in Focus report highlights include:

Travel will go further up, further down and even into the stars:

• Aquatic superhighways: A subsonic tube transport system will be created as a sealed tube system that is travelled using pods, enabling connections between the UK and mainland Europe as far as Scandinavia in under an hour

• Air taxis and buses: We’ll be stepping into the nearest available ‘air taxi’ as a high-power drone-copter will fly us above the traffic to speed us to our destination, using the airspace above rivers and waterways for a clear route through the sky

• Rocket travel in Space: For longer distances, most international city-to-city travel will involve reusable rockets, entering near-space just outside the upper atmosphere, travelling at just under 20,000mph, getting us from London to New York in under 30 minutes

As technology advances, we’ll see significant changes in healthcare and nutrition:

• Virtual companions and carers: We will have the option of a digital companion that gets to know us and our health over our lifetime. Through sensors which track our health status wherever we go, our carers will nudge us to make the healthiest choices

• 3D printing of vital organs: Providing instant replacements for people whose organs are damaged beyond repair. They could even exceed the quality of those we are born with, including eyes with improved vision at night and hearts or lungs that enhance an athlete’s performance

• High-street insect burger takeaways: Eventually insects will become one of our main food protein sources. Every kitchen will be equipped with counter-top growing pods, with a small harvesting drawer – we will even be able to pick up a greasy worm kebab enroute home

As entertainment also takes on new forms, we’ll see:

• Aerial sport matches: We’ll be cheering on our favourite sporting teams as they fly around the stadium on hoverboards, in Quidditch-style four-dimensional sport matches

• Interactive movies and computer games: When it comes to watching films at home, affordable, refined haptic suits that create sensations of touch, which will fool all five of our senses, allowing us to physically feel the film or video game

• Holidaying in space: We’ll be packing our bags and heading to luxury space hotels, orbiting the Moon or other planets, generating their own gravity

Five of the expert predictions have been visualised in detailed architectural renders, to bring to life what our world could really look like 50 years from today, including living and working underground in ‘earthscrapers’, an inverted skyscraper burrowing downwards for many storeys into the ground, enabling the withstanding of earthquakes.

Brits were also asked to choose which of the experts’ predictions they would most like to see become a reality. 70% of British adults said they were excited or intrigued by what technological advances would be over the next 50 years. The survey of 2,000 British adults revealed that that entirely self-cleaning homes, body implants monitoring our health and super-speed air travel are the top advancements the nation would like to see happen by 2069.

President of techUK and Co-Chair of the Institute of Coding, Jacqueline de Rojas, who co-authored the report, commented: “The next 50 years will bring the largest technological changes and innovations we have ever seen in our work and leisure. The Digital Revolution, just as the Industrial Revolution did 250 years ago, is challenging all our assumptions about how we shall lead our future lives. The new Samsung KX destination is a celebration of impressive changes enabled by technology over the last 50 years – looking ahead, we can expect to be connected to everything, and everything we do will be assisted by digital technology.”

Tanya Weller, Director of Samsung Showcase, KX said: “50 years ago we could have never predicted such changes to the way we live, work, travel and eat. Samsung has always been a future-facing company, we exist to create human-driven innovations that defy barriers to progress. As a brand, we’re not just about making products that embrace the future, we want to help prepare people to navigate the future with confidence. As the new Samsung KX destination opens in Coal Drops Yard, we’re excited that our guests will have the opportunity to discover a range of new, one-of-a-kind tech innovations, powered by Samsung technology.”

The report has been published to coincide with the official opening of Samsung KX, a new experience space in Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross.

The full Samsung KX50: The Future in Focus report is available to download here.


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